The problem with our judgments and “righteous indignation”

Judgments and “Righteous Indignation” – How can we have more compassion for ourselves and everyone else?

Do any of these judgments and “righteous indignation” sound familiar to you? ;)

a course in miracles“She’s not worth my time!”

“She’s crazy!”

“He must have been mentally ill.”

“I’m only going to hang out with ‘higher vibration’ people.”

We do this all day long. Judge ourselves and other people and tell ourselves stories. We do it every time uncomfortable feelings arise in us. Our judgments and “justified” righteous indignation are keeping us trapped in a world of hate and violence.

Judging others does not demonstrate in any way that we are “superior” to them. It demonstrates that we don’t get it yet and we have a lot to learn. Maybe it’s time for a new approach.

I woke up this morning up thinking of a cliche about yesterday’s article. If you missed it, I wrote yesterday about a woman who was triggered by something I did and lashed out at me in anger and pain. And I was thinking about how this might be written in a lot of articles we see on the internet.

People often call this kind of triggered behavior “difficult to love.” We might say something like “thank you for loving me when I was most difficult to love.” And I thought to myself, “you know, she’s not difficult to love. She’s easy to love. She’s just like me. A person in pain who is lashing out.” Nothing difficult to love about it. When my cat does it, I have no difficulty loving him anyway. In fact, sometimes it’s actually cute and endearing. I see the needs behind his “acting out.” His acting out gives me an opportunity to practice compassion and deeper listening.

The reason we find people “difficult to love” is that we don’t love ourselves. We still believe that attack and judgment means something, that our anger is justified. We still believe our stories. That’s what makes it difficult. If we saw that attack and judgment are meaningless, we could easily see through the noise and see a small child thinking he is powerless and having a tantrum. It’s not difficult to love. It’s easy to love. And in learning how to love the one acting out, we learn how to love ourselves.

I caught myself doing it a few days ago. A much older and married man who has asked me out many times suddenly appeared out of nowhere and asked me out again. It triggers uncomfortable feelings in me, like revulsion and anger. I could tell you that my feelings are because of who he is and what he is doing.

Why doesn’t he get it yet? I’m not interested. What a lecherous, disgusting person he is. He doesn’t even see me, has shown no interest in delving into the transformation that I practice every day, yet he thinks I’m going with a married man to foreign countries and that I’d actually be up for that? Ugh … horror!!!

But you see … he’s not even there. He only exists in my mind. In my own mind, where I have painted an ugly mirror of myself and where I am practicing self-hatred that is projected onto him. If I continue to pretend to myself that he is anything other than a figment of my twisted ego imagination, I am powerless. I can “give in” or avoid him, I can hate him and judge him, I can feel disgusted by him … and all I do with any of those options is proclaim that I am a pathetic and powerless version of myself. A victim of the world I see. All I do by choosing any of those options is perpetuate my story and continue to live in a world that is perilous and ugly.

It’s the same thing the woman who lashed out at me yesterday is doing. In her own mind, she has a bunch of stories going about how I wronged her and all the horrible consequences of it in her life. When the truth is, I didn’t do anything and there are no consequences. Except the ones she makes up in her own mind … And her escape from pain is the same as mine … She must change her mind about the world she sees.

So what do we do about all this? Well, most of us are way too fixated on doing. And by the way, let us not deceive ourselves. Avoidance and stonewalling are forms of “doing.” Nor would I ever recommend “giving in” to anyone. If ever there was a recipe for misery, it is believing our story and then compromising because we don’t think we can do any better.

Nope, the answer is simple. We must change our minds. We must see that our stories are baloney and every image we see is something we made up in our own mind. Reacting to it as if it is real only perpetuates the story and makes the trap tighter and harder to escape.

If we will simply step back, not with avoidance but with compassion … and see ourselves in the other person. If we will say to ourselves, over and over again, “Truth will correct all errors in my mind” … we will see the world begin to change.

What if we could allow people the room to self-correct? Our stories lock the image in our mind beyond any hope of change. When we detach from the story, we open up a space where truth can correct all errors in our minds.

As it says in A Course in Miracles, we have spent many years attempting to justify our judgments. And it has only made us miserable. Wouldn’t we be better off without them?

“Now you have reached the turning point, because it has occurred to you that you will gain if what you have decided is not so. Until this point is reached, you will believe your happiness depends on being right. But this much reason have you now attained; you would be better off if you were wrong.”

– A Course in Miracles


Erika Awakening, Teaching People How to Create Everyday Miracles at TAPsmarter

Erika Awakening is one of the world’s foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and living life on your own terms.

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

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  1. Rebecca Swenor says:

    Interesting post and analogy indeed. This is definitely something to think about for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi Erika,

    Just stumbled upon your blog looking up yin yoga in Bali he he.

    Just posting a message to say that your ideas and journey fully resonate with me in a huge way! I look forward to reading more when I return as it is hard to view on my phone :p

    This post grabbed me as self-righteous indignation came up as something for me to work on in a kinesiology session a short while ago. I had a father and encountered many people who did not accept or tolerate beliefs out of their own and this can still sometimes trigger me because I love the idea of a world where noone enforces their ideas on to anyone else. We can all share from our experience yet not force our ideas or tell anyone who they are. Yet you are right-of course that voice of the mind is of judgement and we can accept that as a part of the human condition in ourselves and others-in doing so we realise that it’s not us or them but an aspect of the mind.

    I also liked your ideas about sex as they resonated for me. There are a lot of strong opinions about sex on your blog in the comments section. For me, my truth is one of realisation that my body is sacred. I have been mostly celibate since engaging in a conscious lifestyle. This has occurred much like being vegetarian, eating less, choosing yoga and sound healing more and much like you have expressed, honouring my intuitive choices in any moment-the freedom, bliss and abundance that comes. I resonated with your thoughts on questioning where sex fits into this. It no longer feels natural to me though I am looking into tantric expressions now to see if they resonate.

    All I know deep in my heart is that I will above all stay true to myself and my body. Even if the entire world becomes promiscuous I won’t be joining in as it doesn’t resonate for me-though I respect that this is an ardent belief system for some. The only future I see for a collective is respect of a multitude of expressions of individuality as all part of the same sacred life force. I don’t think we are meant to all be any particular way in the human expression other than what feels right for each being. Following this bliss is lasting joy for me, where fears kept me from simply being.

    Love how open and tolerant yet authentic your thoughts and ideas are and p.s. I also gave up Facebook for similar reasons.
    Before I sign off, can you please recommend places in Ubud for yin yoga and/or some great yin yoga dvds if you know any?
    Yin yoga is incredible and also changed my life!!! Loved your article on it :)

    Love and blessings,
    Ruth from Australia

    • Hi Ruth,

      Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. I appreciate your thoughtful comment. Yes, I agree we must learn that the sacred life force is the same in all beings and learn that respecting others is the same as respecting ourselves.

      In Ubud, I was doing yin yoga at Yoga Barn. They had lots of choices. There was another place that offered yin yoga but I never made it there and don’t remember the name. The only yin yoga DVD I have is the one in the Ultimate Yogi set. It’s only a one hour session. However, I think he also has a gentle yoga DVD along similar style so it’s a good set if you feel willing to invest the money.

      Cheers and hope you’ll visit us again :)

      – Erika

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